Thursday 20 September 2007

Something more serious than life and death..

Usually this blog will deal with matters of survival and life and death.
Occasionally, we will deal with matters more serious than that. Football, for instance.
That's soccer to all our American readers.

If there is one thing that will distract Israelis from the vital daily dose of danger and
gorgeous Israeli girls (the latest image remake for our Ministry of Tourism), it's football.

One wife berated her husband who was glued to his TV screen during the recent Israel-England game.
"Sometimes I think you love the Israeli football team more than you love me!"
Without looking up from the screen he retorted, "I love the England team more than I love you!"

Israelis do have a passion for football, and they idolise the English Premier league.
Israeli players, such as Yosi Benayoun and Tal Ben Haim, and young Ben Saar, have found success in England, playing for teams such as Liverpool, Bolton, and Chelsea.
Recently, Avram Grant, the ex-Israeli national team manager, was invited to join Chelsea as Director of Football by the owner, Roman Abramovitch, much to the distaste of manager, Jose Mourinho.

Now, following poor results from Chelsea, the charismatic Mourinho has left this leading football club under a cloud, and Israeli manager, Avram Grant, has been given the chance to prove himself big time.

Yom Kippur is a time of contemplation and 'heshbon nefesh', soul searching.
Avram Grant will be using this weekend to take stock of his new opportunity. He faces a daunting task and will need to pray real hard.

Grant will hardly have time to break his fast before planning the Chelsea line-up for their vital Sunday game against the mighty Manchester United at the famous Old Trafford stadium.

For Grant this may feel like a second circumcision. Facing an upbeat and rampant United with a depleted Chelsea squad, despondent about their failing early season results will be as painful, for Grant, as a 'brit mila'.

Grant may be Abramovich's favoured man for the job but Abramovich wants results and, if Grant cannot deliver, he will quickly follow Mourinho out of the door at Chelsea.

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